In the spirt of the place, despite my palatial resistance, I did end up seeing, touring, tasting at a few of the classic breweries in Belgium.
Most of them have a history going back hundreds of years. Monks seem to be the #1 instigators as far as the brew industry is concerned. Based on marketing, all of Belgium was populated with jolly drunk monks at one point. Or so I am led to believe.
Inevitably, the back of the rental car became stacked with cases of suds. It sounded like Marly's ghost was accompanying us for the ride. Except instead of chains, Marly was on a bender and clinking bottles instead.
Apparently, getting a few cases of this Westlederen stuff is a really big deal for beer geeks. Getting any at all involves having your license plate taken down and a monk limiting the amount of cases you can haul away, and you can only get this particular beer at the monastery. People line up for hours to take some away.